P11 million worth of smuggled coffee beans, corned beef seized at Manila Port

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2019   •   758

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday seized six containers of smuggled coffee beans, corned beef and used clothing estimated to be worth more than P11 million at the Manila International Container Port.

Of the six containers, five were filled with bags of Arabica coffee beans from Hong Kong and cans of corned beef from Brazil. The remaining container full of second-hand clothes were from South Korea.

The food products were declared as a textile auxiliary, catsup, and crackers while the clothes were listed as brand-new items as the BOC prohibits the importation of used clothing.

The bureau said the seized containers arrived in the country on separate dates.

The food items were consigned to JL Twins Enterprises while the used clothing was registered to FiveJhoch Enterprises.

The bureau said the shipments violated the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as the BOC policy which prohibits the importation of used clothing.

According to the BOC, the confiscated food products will be subjected to forfeiture proceedings due to lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit, while the used clothing has yet to be determined whether it will be donated or auctioned off to the public.

“If there is some way that the FDA can guarantee the safety of these products, we can either sell it through auction or donate it doon sa mga biktima ng calamity natin,” Vincent Philip Maronilla, BOC assistant commissioner, said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Customs NAIA seizes $8,000 US dollar bills hidden inside magazine

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday said it intercepted $8,000 US dollar bills concealed between the pages of a cooking magazine.

In a statement, the BOC said the parcel was seized at the Fedex warehouse on Sept. 25. It was misdeclared as “correspondence” from New Jersey, USA and consigned to a certain resident in San Pedro, Laguna.

The bureau said the smuggled banknotes, which are in $50 and $100 bills, were discovered after the package was passed through the X-ray machine and was subjected to physical examination.

“The seized foreign currency shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual,” it said.

The bureau added that the case records will likewise be referred to Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) and Legal Service for further investigation, case build up and prosecution for violation of Sections 1400, 1401 of the CMTA in relation to the New Central Bank Act.

The BOC advised the public to refrain from attempts to engage in similar fraudulent schemes as the BSP Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction simply requires the faithful declaration and accomplishment of Foreign Currency Declaration Forms for importation and exportation of foreign currency in excess of USD10,000 or its equivalent.

P4.5 million worth of shabu seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   September 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has seized 640 grams of shabu (crystal meth) estimated to worth P4.5 million in a warehouse in Pasay City.

The contraband was found in an unclaimed parcel at the DHL warehouse.

The BOC said the seized illegal drug was concealed inside tin cans of wafer and packs of chocolates, stuffed toys, candies and slippers to avoid detection.

It was shipped from Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States and consigned to a certain resident of Hagonoy, Bulacan.

However, its contents were detected through “intensified vigilance and profiling BOC-NAIA” and coordinated with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG).

Chemical Laboratory Analysis conducted by PDEA confirmed that the seized white crystalline substance were indeed methamphetamine hydrochloride.

The BOC said the items have been turned over to the PDEA on Sept. 24 for further profiling and case build-up against those behind its importation for possible prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Bureau of Customs steps up drive vs rice smuggling

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is ramping up its campaign against rice smuggling even amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by conducting raids on warehouses suspected of storing illegally imported grains following reports from concerned citizens, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DOF said that Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has assured Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that rice stocks imported by private traders during the pandemic would still be subject to “post-modification and post audit.”

This system will ensure that undervalued shipments are properly assessed and subsequently paid with the correct amount of duties and taxes.

Guerrero also said he had informed the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) that because rice is considered a “critical” commodity, traders were allowed to avail of the Provisional Goods Declaration in processing their shipments at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

The FFF earlier questioned the BOC’s assessment and valuation system on the entry of rice imports.

“The BOC has found the valuation of several rice shipments with provisional goods declaration to be quite low compared to the prevailing market prices,” Guerrero said in his report to Dominguez.

“But those are subject to post-modification and post-audit. And in the meantime, we are still conducting the post-modification, verifying the payments of rice because some of them are clearly undervalued. So we will catch up in the post modification and post-audit,” he added.

Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 07-2020, if the Customs district/sub-port collector accepts a provisional goods declaration, the duty and tax treatment of the goods under provisional declaration will not be different from that of goods with complete declaration.

For the release of shipments under tentative assessment, the importer will be required to post the required security, whether in the form of surety bond or cash bond.

Guerrero said the customs bureau has also responded to reports by concerned citizens regarding warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice stocks by immediately issuing letters of authority to enable BOC officers to inspect such warehouses and seize goods without the requisite importation permits.

“We actually raided them and we found out that many of these warehouses were operating legally and their stocks are covered by proper documents,” Guerrero said.

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